With a population reaching more than 7,000 people, downtown Gibsonville is home to local restaurants, small businesses and a culture of its own. Three new businesses joining the growing area all have the same intention — bringing Elon students and the greater community through their doors.
Wearology, an eco-friendly boutique, is the most recent of the three to open. Owner Brittany Pate, former public school teacher in Guilford and Alamance Counties, welcomed a change to the community while recovering from a car accident.
“Over recovery and healing, [I thought] I need[ed] a change,” Pate said. “Physically, emotionally, mentally.”
After she stopped teaching, Pate experienced “teacher guilt” after leaving her students and school. She wanted to give back to the community through her store, so she chose to donate $1 from every purchase toward a classroom in need.
“Public education is close to my heart,” Pate said. “I know what it feels like to have to buy stuff for your own classroom.”
The boutique is marketed toward a younger audience with the goals of promoting sustainable and ethical fashion. Pate said she has always been fascinated by fashion and follows trends, but she never knew the backstory of where the clothes actually came from.
When she opened her own boutique, she wanted to know who made the clothes she sold. Pate said if she had more knowledge of fashion and the environment when she was younger, she would have made more viable choices surrounding the clothes she purchased.
Wearology carries a rotating selection of products and Pate hopes this strategy will keep new customers coming in. Because of this, she is consistently looking for new stock. There is an application for local vendors, especially women and women of color, to promote and sell their products in the boutique.
The Gilded Bean
When Terry Miller in Gibsonville, he noticed there wasn’t a downtown coffee shop yet and knew he could fill the gap.
The Gilded Bean Coffee Bar opened in downtown Gibsonville on March 20. Miller, the store manager, moved to Gibsonville from Winston-Salem, where he previously owned a coffee shop before it closed at the start of the pandemic.
The Gilded Bean prides itself in one of its many specialties: roasting its own coffee. Miller wanted to offer an air-roasted bean with a unique taste. This allows the shop to serve the freshest coffee and espresso.
“Our coffee does not sit in containers for months waiting to be brewed,” Miller wrote in an email to Elon News Network. “After the coffee has been roasted, the coffee sits for two days to degas — think of it like a fine wine that is stored in a cellar.”
Gilded Bean coffee is not only available in the shop but also around several businesses in town and at the Trinity Church in Burlington.
“There’s some great coffee shops out there, especially some larger box stores,” Miller said. “But there’s something about the small businesses that are really putting their heart and soul in it.”
The proximity to Elon University is also important to Miller since one of his goals is to make the location accommodating to students.
“Whether that’s adding a discount for the students, maybe having an after hours study group once we close,” Miller said, “there’s so many great places on campus that are there for the students, but sometimes it’s good to get away.”
Part of the outreach to the community begins with the coffee shop’s name. The Gilded Bean is a nod to some of Gibsonville’s earliest residents, who came to the area looking for gold in the 1800s.
“We’re all kind of searching for something, that shiny object, and chasing it,” Miller said. “Really what we need to look for is just the bare minimum of what’s going to make us happy, and a good cup of coffee is just [that.]”
Elon junior Jacob Van Buren began working at the Gilded Bean over the summer, but he already feels comfortable and settled in.
Van Buren said his parents first discovered Gibsonville by accident when they drove through the town. They brought him to the town for dinner, and now, Gibsonville is where he lives and works. Van Buren said working at the Gilded Bean is fun and one of his favorite parts is that it is a small, local business.
“I see the owner Chuck [Beard], and I see Terry every day,” Van Buren said. “They’re both really nice guys. All either of them really wants to do is give someone what they want and hopefully make their day better.”
All She Wrote Notes
Set to open in early 2022, All She Wrote Notes is a calligraphy and hand lettering studio run by Maghon Taylor. The new brick- and-mortar location will allow the studio to continue sales and hold classes and events. Taylor started the business in 2013 and has been online since then.
“We’ve kind of outgrown my bonus room, which has operated the business for the past eight years,” Taylor said.
Along with her online business, Taylor has a Youtube account where she advertises her products and crafts. She and her business have also been advertised on a variety of programs such as WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas and Today in Nashville.
Before starting her business, Taylor worked in event planning for seven years for various North Carolina universities. She said she enjoyed her work but missed being creative. Taylor hopes to connect with Elon University parents, so they have a small business to shop from for their students. Since Taylor is local, she could even deliver the gifts herself.
“If they’re celebrating a birthday or they’ve gone through a breakup or they need some extra happy in their life, that’s our brand,” Taylor said. “That’s what we do.”
When the location opens, it will not have traditional retail hours since it is not a full-on storefront. Instead, Taylor will reserve the first Saturday of each month for shopping, while the other days are for classes. Taylor felt opening her doors for shoppers on Saturday would align with events that are already scheduled.
“I just want somebody if they come to have my full attention, my full enthusiasm to give them the right experience,” Taylor said. “I’m afraid if we were just open all the time and I was on a podcast interview or I was recording a video, I couldn’t run to the door.”